Corporate Learning and Training Buzzwords Glossary

If you’ve been looking for ways to enhance e-learning, skills gap training and other education opportunities, chances are you’re running across plenty of corporate learning buzzwords. Ever wonder what some of this jargon really mean, or how to clearly define methods for leadership to consider?

Here’s a streamlined glossary containing 12 of the most popular terms and trends across today’s business training landscape.

Asynchronous Training: Online technology makes it possible for learners to select eLearning modules and courses, on demand, and complete them at their own pace or according to the pace set forth by the organization. Interaction may not be live in real time, but asynchronous learning can still include interactions with other learners like message boards or group discussions.

Augmented Reality (AR): Unlike VR (see below) which creates a make-believe version of an environment to experience as if it was reality, AR technology superimposes digital images and data onto a view of a real environment. For group training, collaboration can be enhanced as all AR users can see the same images in real-time to share insights and experiences.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device. Just as it sounds, this is a requisite for training programs that ask participants to learn with their own laptops, tablets or smart phones.

Cloud-Based Programs: Cloud-based learning is hosted on the internet, typically through a cloud-based learning management system (see definition below). It enables information and coursework to be stored and secured on the cloud (network of servers on the internet) and used by employees, trainers, students and administrators who have access.

Experiential Learning: Instead of learning from only books and lectures, experiential learning can include project work, case studies and hands-on experience that emphasize real-world applications of skills and knowledge, and may even be tailored to training goals of an organization.

Gamification: This approach to training incorporates some of the typical (and often enjoyable) components of a game or competition, such as levels of progress, rewards and awards, scoring points, solving puzzles, and more. It’s a way to engage corporate learners and encourage strong team dynamics.

Learning Management System (LMS): It’s the technology that comprises e-learning software, data and processes for delivery and use. From housing assignments to tracking student progress, the LMS is the vehicle and the hub for online learning and training programs.

Microlearning: In the world of eLearning, microlearning is an approach to presenting information in what might be called smaller, “snackable” bites. Deconstructing larger topics into short, focused modules can help employees quickly gain useful information that can be immediately applied to targeted situations.

MOOC: Massive Open Online Courses. A range of providers may offer any number of courses and training paths at large. Not typically tailored for specific business needs, MOOC is a platform open to all takers for self-directed study online.

SaaS: Software as a Service is somewhat like a leasing arrangement that allows access to programs hosted on the cloud – for a fee. So instead of the IT department needing to host learning systems on their own servers and install the software individually on everyone’s machine, a SaaS solution allows organizational access and can save time and space with updates.

Social Learning: In theory, social learning is simply learning from and with others. Today, the rise of social media provides a way to learn through digital socialization, too. Collaboration and communication may take place through intranet message boards, video chats, instant messaging platforms and more.

Virtual Reality (VR): Think 3-D simulation. Today’s VR typically incorporates the use of headsets, helmets and/or special gloves that stimulate the senses and create a physical experience of an environment. VR may be used in corporate training to help learners more safely acquire skills and knowledge that could present some risk otherwise.